Liverpool have had their struggles this season, with some putting them largely down the absence of Sadio Mane in the side.
The Senegal star ended his six-year stay on Merseyside during the summer, asking the club to sell him to Bayern Munich in order to pursue a new challenge. With only 12 months remaining on his contract, they reluctantly agreed.
In truth, Liverpool's problems have not been caused by Mane's departure. They have stemmed from injuries and a lack of form in the middle third of the pitch, something that has then had a knock-on effect as the lack of pressing in midfield leaves the defence exposed. In fact Luis Diaz, who has essentially replaced Mane in the side, has arguably been best player this season.
Didi Hamann on Sadio Mane struggles at Bayern
As for Sadio Mane, he hasn't exactly set the Bundesliga alight since his arrival. He scored three goals in the first three games of the campaign, although they both came in heavy wins for Bayern Munich and one of the strikes was via the penalty spot.
Since then, he has performed poorly as the club stuttered to three consecutive draws in the league. He also failed to catch the eye in their first two Champions League fixtures, although the German club would win both of them.
The player would go on to be substituted during the loss to Augsburg this afternoon.
Bayern boss Julien Nagelsmann recently admitted that Mane was taking some time to adapt to his new surroundings, although he is 'certain' that he will end up being a success in Bavaria.
He put in so much for Liverpool.He's a new signing. He just needs to adapt. He was trying.
I'm certain he will succeed for us.
The best is yet to come for Sadio Mane 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kV44LexzZi
— GOAL (@goal) September 13, 2022
Mane was in remarkable form for Liverpool in the second half of last season, starring in a more central role as the club went within a couple of games of winning a quadruple. He also fired Senegal to AFCON glory and World Cup qualification.
However, his form over the 12 months or so prior to that period was actually fairly mixed.
Didi Hamann has been watching the forward closely since his move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich, and having played for both clubs himself, told GMX that it is clear that Sadio Mane doesn't 'look happy' since arriving in Germany.
He is not integrated. I saw him at Liverpool FC, where he played through the middle. That is not his position. Now he’s taking that position at FC Bayern as well.
He is at his best when he comes from the outside. He doesn’t look happy to me.
Other players like Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala or, in defence, Lucas Hernandez, who is injured at the moment, are putting in outstanding performances.
Nobody is talking about Mane at the moment. He seems isolated and hardly takes part in the game. FC Bayern has to get a grip on that.
You would certainly expect Mane to rediscover his form sooner rather than later, although the track record of players who have left Liverpool in recent times is not all that impressive.
The likes of Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, and Gini Wijnaldum left Anfield for other major European clubs and probably ended up wishing that they had stayed put.